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Sat Jun 18 00:00:00 MDT 2016Cathy R. Rating:5.0
I had just turned 15 when this movie came out I don't get tired of this movie
Mon May 31 00:00:00 MDT 2010lenibogat Rating:4.0
I quite enjoyed this DVD and have no hesitation in recommending it. The bonus tracks of Yundi playing the four Scherzi of Chopin and Liszt's La Campanella are alone worth the price of admission. The performances are beautiful and any questions as to why this young man was awarded the Gold medal in the Chopin Competition are quickly dispelled. The film paints a fine portrait of Yundi. But it is uneven. I suspect a re-editing of the material would deal my objections. The approach is interesting. There are several currents that are developed in alternation throughout the film: Yundi's childhood and family in China, his musical education (quite minimally), scenes of modern China, and preparation of his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic under Seiji Ozawa. This last appears to be the main thread of the film and the moment Yundi is about to walk out on stage for the concert is its climax. The most interesting parts of the film deal with the interaction between Yundi and Ozawa, who emerges as a most sympathetic figure. This window into how a complex work is prepared for performance is fascinating. In watching the scenes with Ozawa, I was prompted to dig out all my old Ozawa LPs and start on a journey of rediscovery of this great conductor. But too much time is given to what I suppose are called establishment shots, and my overall impression was that the director could not, in the end, decide what the film should be about. Yundi himself is portrayed as the open and honest musician he has always seemed to me, very likable, and one of the very few of the young generation of technical titans whose playing truly is about the music. I must confess that as I watched the film and watched his hands, I had a nagging concern over the physical tension with which he plays. At a certain point in the film I thought to myself, this kid is going to hurt himself one day. Sadly, it turned out that he did develop an injury. But the film passes over the subject as though this is one of the inevitable results of the life of a concert pianist. It is a great pity that children are still being taught the old methods that result in these injuries. They are not at all inevitable and are the result of forcing the hands to behave repeatedly in ways for which they were not designed. There is also a sinister undercurrent in the film that makes its first appearance at the beginning with the statement that there are 20 million aspiring concert pianists in China. Later, we are shown scenes of what appears to be mass production lessons. Yet, overall, as a package, this DVD is certainly worth having. Yundi is a great pianist, and an historically significant one.
Sun Mar 20 00:00:00 MDT 2016tmris23 Rating:5.0
Loved it! Listened to the music around this time of year (Easter). Now I'll sing along with the movie.
Wed Feb 29 00:00:00 MST 2012maleman5001 Rating:5.0
The four performers understand Bach beautifully (personally I appreciate Hewitt's playing the most) and are performing in inspiring settings that often act as interesting counterpoint to the music itself. The sound quality is excellent and I have no complaints.
Sat Jun 19 00:00:00 MDT 2010fugitivevision Rating:5.0
When these majestic, elemental performances were issued on CD two decades ago by Deutsche Grammophone, the critics had a field day. “Self-indulgent” they cried. Not up to the standard set by Bernstein’s earlier New York Philharmonic recordings of the Sibelius Symphonies, and clear evidence of the old man’s failing powers. Listening to them again now--while seeing the maestro in action--is an exhilarating experience. Lenny’s interpretations are of course larger than life and totally subjective. Slows are exceptionally slow, but never ponderous or static. The allegros fly like the wind--so brisk that even the legendary Vienna Philharmonic has a difficult time keeping up with their leader. Also much in evidence is Bernstein’s uncanny ability to carry a musical line across vast silences, especially in Symphony 2, where Sibelius adds fermatas to the longest rests. How Bernstein manages such wizardry is still beyond me, even after watching these videos with the utmost care. But that’s hardly the only magic on display here. From the hushed mystery of the opening bars of First to the searing dissonance of the winds in the middle movement of the Fifth to the ecstatic, nearly overwhelming climax at the end of the Seventh, Bernstein consistently rivets our attention. Just as mesmerizing is the opportunity to watch Bernstein at work. He conducts with his eyes nearly as much as with his hands, and his facial expressions further help convey the meaning of the music to the players. Here he gently reminds the violins to use more bow; there he slashes the air violently with his baton--and is visibly moved by the ensemble’s hair-trigger response. He cajoles, coaxes, and in the climactic moments leaps nimbly into the air. Some critics still abhor Bernstein’s podium antics, but I find that they invariably enhance and intensify his interpretation of the music. The playing of the Vienna Philharmonic under Bernstein is as close to perfection as we are ever likely to hear on this earth. The sound on these Unitel DVDs is exceptionally vivid and richly detailed. The video editing is occasionally distracting as we jump across the stage from one solo instrument to another, sometimes during a single bar of music. For the most part, however, producer Humphrey Burton draws our attention to the most interesting musical effects and allows the camera to linger lovingly on his photogenic maestro. If you love the Sibelius symphonies, by all means seek out the more sedate and orderly complete CD sets by John Barbirolli or Colin Davis. But don’t miss these highly personal, life-affirming, and life-changing DVDs. After listening to Bernstein, you’ll never quite hear this music the same way again.
Mon Jun 13 00:00:00 MDT 2016JoAnn P. Rating:3.0
Weak plot line. Sometimes campy. Love the old B&W feature.
Tue May 17 00:00:00 MDT 2016vh4545 Rating:5.0
Thu Jun 09 00:00:00 MDT 2016katie30 Rating:5.0
As a huge fan of Michael Flatley -- this DVD is essential to my collection! Michael and company return to The Point Theatre (Dublin) where it all began for an amazing show!
Mon Apr 04 00:00:00 MDT 2016Fannie W. Rating:4.0
Def. not for kids. I love musicals but too much language, drugs, and sex for me.
The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is an annual event held by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, or AMPAS. The sizzle of Hollywood movie stars, the red carpet and the golden Oscar statuette are staples of the formal award show. The event recognizes achievements in the film industry with awards given to actors, directors, writers and others. The show is televised and shown globally in late February; in 2009 the Academy Awards were viewed internationally in over 90 countries. If you're curious about this glamorous event, take a look at the Academy Awards guide below. Read More
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